Give me two

To create and to give away

Recently I had a discussion with my friends, whether the man is free in the world of high technologies, innovative solutions and advertising-boosted uncontrollable consumption? What is behind our compulsive desire to buy another pair of glasses, a new dress or a gadget? Is it true that we will reach the new heights faster in our personal, business and social spheres by creating a perfect (?) image of ourselves or shall we curse our own extravagance knowing that we have spent half of our monthly salary in one shopping spree?

To create and to give away

It seems to me that the metabolic processes in the Universe are in fact similar to the metabolism of the human body. It is very easy to disturb the balance of our body – it is sufficient to eat sweets and carbohydrates before going to bed. Our body will ache and get fat, it will accumulate.

It is not difficult to disturb our metabolism with the Universe and with the world: to achieve that, one should shower a little child with gifts and excessive attention, without implying any return response. Finally, the person’s need to create and to give away will be disturbed, and a compulsive desire to grab, to buy and to save will form. Thus, the society will get another consumerist. Welcome to the world of iPhones, Louboutin shoes and moleskins! Welcome to the world where a homo sapience turns into a body demonstrating different brands.

A consumer: the beginning

Originally, a child wants to help his or her parents, displaying the natural desire to be useful. A child wants to stack the clothes ‘like Mom’, to sweep the floor and to wipe the dust. A child gradually switches into the natural flow of things, receiving much from this world (food, care, the parents’ affection) and giving love back. Thus, the balance of the incoming and outgoing flows of life gets restored: everything is so simple.

This period in a child’s life is critical, and the parents’ actions predetermine the further scenario of the child’s growth. There are not so many options of this scenario: to accept the help or to kill the initiative in the bud.

Let’s dwell upon the first scenario. The parents bring up in a child understanding of the mechanisms of correct exchange with the world, the balance between taking and giving. This is reflected in the relations with other people, and in the future, in the relations with one’s own children or, for example, subordinates. So, admire a self-sustained personality, who does not strive to save and to accumulate but rather lives to give something to the world as a professional, to interact with others, and to take care of them and simply takes sincere interest in the others.

Now look at scenario number two: "Do not approach the dishes, you may break them”. “Sit down, stand up, put on a hat, do not touch, do not approach it, stop jumping”. So, the child obediently sits down, does not approach or touch anything – but finally stops doing anything about the house. The parents do not like it now: “He is grown but we cannot make him do anything”. “He has always been like that…” – we readily remove any responsibility from the child’s parents for what is happening with the teenager’s thinking.

The very best

If you want to bring up a consumer, shower your child with numerous gifts: toys, toy cars, dolls, and new brand clothes. “Let her have everything I did not have…” – are you familiar with such a parent’s statement with the minus sign? Or this: “My boy is the best, and he must have the best of everything, and much”. Or this, the most selfish ideology, to my subjective thinking: “My child should be better than myself (more successful, more beautiful - whichever)” Do you think it will take long for your child to decide: “I must be the coolest guy at school (at college, at work”. “I am the best”, “I must be the best”, “I must have the best-looking car, an apartment in the best district”. And so on. This is a devastating thing and, in my opinion, one of factors of forming a consumer society.

Consumerism affects a child’s studies — the child does not develop, wishing to get a good mark without applying much effort and without understanding the material. Already at a young age, a person loses the habit of creating something and later, in order to fill in the inner gap, this person begins to do compulsive shopping in the malls or at the websites. It smells like a new religion – the person makes his or her way to the much-desired brand, just like a pilgrim makes his or her way to the sacred tomb.

A sale of happiness

Please, understand me correctly: I do not wish to say that an E-class car or a spacious house with a large cloakroom, full of beautiful quality clothes, is something bad. What did the classics say? “From each, according to his capabilities, to each, according to his needs”. Some people have infinite needs.

The consumers of the Earth want to be successful, despite everything. They want success, and it should be pleasant, predictable, like that of the others. This is another idol they are ready to pray to. Bloggers, social networks, opinion leaders, TV commercials for older people – they rule the consumer world and tell the people about the actual attributes of happiness: “WOW! I took this pill in the morning and in the evening, my face became smooth, and my husband returned to me / I found a well-paid job / I got married to a foreigner”. Something like that…

In other words, “Do it like me, and you will be happy, as I am happy, and you will be happy. You only need a blender, just like this one”. We obediently nod, go to the shop, and buy the blender, even choosing the same limited edition from the TV. However, the happiness we have desired so much for never comes.

It is never too late to dream

In India, there is a trick for catching a monkey. They make a hole in a pumpkin and put a date inside. The monkey comes, grasps the date and hold it firm in its small fist but cannot take it out — the fist won’t go! So, the monkey sits until caught by the hunters. Thus s the end of the monkey’s freedom, but it has the date instead. Some humans remind me of this monkey, when they hunt a new model of a cult brand, this season, with two added functions.

In the consumption society, it is difficult to find a true dream among the multitude of desires based on the word ‘to buy’. I am talking about the dream that makes us really free and gives us the energy to live. This is our goal, for the sake of which we are ready to overcome insurmountable obstacles. In my case, everything turned out to be simple: it is enough for me to create beautiful objects and thus to introduce aesthetics into people’s lives. Thus, I implement my dream, and my hobby has become my profession.

Freedom is real. This freedom is not from something or for something. Why do I need it? To achieve my goal. For the world to become a little lighter, a little more comfortable and a little brighter. Freedom is in ourselves.
© Svetlana Andrikevich

Svetlana Andrikevich

Svetlana Andrikevich is a fashion designer from Kyiv who defines herself through continuous personal development, implementation of creative ideas and the generation of useful and beautiful products. She strives for aesthetics and simplicity in use at every occupation - both at work as a lawyer in private offices and in setting up her own business. The final result of her work was the creation of her own fashion label “L'Andre”.





    How went the #MeToo-movement in our homelands


    Online information and our relations with it


    Thoughts about one of the most paradox resources we have


    Observations about the stream of time

    To have and to be

    About consumption, people and money


    About the universal measure of happiness


    The subtle balance of borderline states


    Photo reports about the borders, both tangible and mental


    About the inspiration and the sleep of reason


    About films: what to see and how to see

    Women in profession

    Five female curator from Russia tell about their profession


    Inspired by the festive atmosphere of the gathering, Converter has prepared a special rubric for you, dedicated to the cinema, the festival, and Berlin


    The photoproject "Dreams from St. Petersburg" tries to give an idea of what are the hopes and fears of of young people in this unique city